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    Today, in the field of Contemporary Music, artists empower themselves using technology. Combining IT and engineering with the arts, they are able to create interesting artworks, performances and new instruments using tools for algorithmic composition and advance programming, electronics and audio visual techniques.

    This awesome granular marble’s symphony, combines sensors to capture data and experimental software to create beautiful sounds with marbles. The contact microphones are connected to the glasses to capture the sound of the marbles knocking the glass with perfect accuracy.

    The name of this project is Untitled Samek and as the author Federico Dal Pozzo describes it as a study about the emptiness of time that sounds for the eyes.

    It’s experimental electro-acoustic music using granular synthesis made with the sound of a marble spinning on a bohemian glass, combined with audiovisual painting. It’s such a symphony and definitely delights the audience!

    Nerea T. Ruiz

  • Ballet Rotoscope is an experimental short film made in 2011 that connects ballet with technology. By empowering the natural beauty of ballet and utilizing physical computing, the concept adds value to the real-time action and performance.


    The artists and researchers involved in the project, have created a relationship between geometric shapes with an animation technique known as rotoscope which was invented in 1905 by Max Fleischer. The object’s contours are traced and controlled by an algorithm that brings a mathematical layer to the natural movements of a ballerina.


    The awesome result is the ballerina dances while she draws perfect geometry.  The joints on her body are traced with a computer –generated rotoscope animation technique created by mathematical methods.

    In the process, each of the steps of the ballerina were tracked with accuracy to translate and synthesize it with a vectorial animation.


    Rotoscope technique is normally used in motion pictures to make realistic cartoons, but artists use it to generate an abstract animation of shapes that follow the movements of a ballerina. Therefore, this project makes sense in how to bridge the gap between arts and technology and create new concepts of beauty.

    This great artwork was created in Keio University of Japan, and the proposal intends to be an interaction between live performance and animation and new ways of expression. This was developed by the EUPHRATES Group, founded by the students of Masahiko Sato Laboratory.

    Nerea T. Ruiz

  • Many of us get dressed and undressed everyday without much thought. But for some people, changing in and out of clothing, or dealing with buckles, zippers and laces can be a frustrating task.

    According to, in the U.S. alone, there are 59 million people living with disabilities, and ‘their clothing options are greatly limited.’

    Thankfully, ‘adaptive wear’ has emerged as type of clothing made for people of all abilities that adheres to various function and style needs.

    adaptive-clothing-lucy-jonesPhoto Credit: Lucy Jones Design

    And thanks to programs like Runway of Dreams Foundation and Parsons‘ Open Style Lab (OSL), there has been an increase in the availability of clothing geared for children and adults of all abilities.

    In addition, Target has rolled out a ‘collection of sensory-friendly apparel for children,’ including items with zip-off sleeves, side openings, or openings in the back for those who are sitting or lying down.

    At Parsons’ Open Style Lab (OSL), designers, engineers, and occupational therapists work in unison to create accessible wearables.

    OSL was initiated at MIT in 2014, the program aims to challenge the fashion industry to consider the variety and uniqueness of all bodies, ages and abilities in the world. And designing for the underserved leads to better products for everyone —a core tenet of Open Style lab’s curriculum

    Watch video below to learn more about Runway of Dreams and adaptive wear

  • THE DEPARTURE - Ittetsu

    The subject of Lana Wilson’s documentary The Departure, Ittetsu Nemoto is a fascinating individual. The former rebel-turned-Buddhist priest has made it his life’s work to personally help people who want to kill themselves. Because he cannot turn anyone down when they call or text him—and because suicide is rampant in Japan—the 44-year old’s own health has been terribly compromised. This impressionistic portrait of a heroic yet flawed character is meditative and often quite beautiful, as befitting its extraordinary subject and his environment.

    At the monastery where he lives with his wife and young children, we see Nemoto welcome visitors to the Departure, a retreat specifically geared to help people who are contemplating suicide. He does this by having them “experience” death; we see a small part of the process, which involves writing down things they’re leaving behind and crumpling up these pieces of paper one by one until nothing is left. The idea is to find something worth living for. Later in group discussions, the participants discuss their feelings. It’s interesting that so many utterly despondent people have allowed themselves to be filmed. On the other hand, suicide has a long tradition of honor (kamikaze pilots, the ritual of seppuku) in Japan, so there’s probably less shame attached to it.  This may make people more open about their feelings, but also guarantees that Nemoto is seriously overworked.


    The film shows him riding his motorcycle to meet with the various people who call or text his personal “hotline,” including a visit with a young woman whose grandfather thinks she should be “stronger” and a series of interactions with a man who is depressed over losing custody of his children. Nemoto is a comforting presence, listening carefully and offering various ideas to guide them through their crises, without judging or promising easy solutions. With groups, he uses art, movement, theater games and other forms of expression; as he says, there is no one right way to help. After each encounter with a potential suicide, he is clearly drained, but, as he explains in voice-over, he feels responsible for these people. His calendar is booked solid and he won’t turn anyone away.

    Later, his exhaustion takes on deeper meaning as we see him undergoing tests in a hospital. Though relatively young, he has major cardiac and pulmonary issues, exacerbated by the stress of his work. The irony of the fact that he’s killing himself in a way is not lost on us or on him. At one point, he wonders if he is a hypocrite.

    THE DEPARTURE - Ittetsu-Woman

    We learn about the people in his early life who committed suicide, and how this led to his current mission. He also talks about his rebellious youth, which involved playing in rock bands, heavy partying and picking fights. A near-fatal motorcycle accident at age 24 led to both his marriage and the priesthood. Though he has clearly evolved in a big way, he still drinks and goes out dancing in clubs—which seem to offer a release from his grueling work, even as they contribute to his deteriorating health. Though his wife pleads with him to “stay healthy for another 20 years” for the sake of his son, she seems resigned to her husband’s way of life.

    The Departure offers no easy answers or platitudes, just an indelible portrayal of someone who gives 100% no matter what the cost. Though it is frustrating to watch such a valiant human being deplete himself, it’s inspiring to witness his selflessness. In these egocentric times especially, Ittetsu Nemoto is the rarest of gems.

    The Departure opens on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Metrograph Theater.

    Marina Zogbi

  • Twain, Mt. Davidson

    For music aficionados and the real heads that check out a lot of live shows, you know when you’re in the presence of exceptional musicians, singer/songwriters. Where Mumford and Sons have in some respects brought a new wave of progressive folk music to the forefront of popularity, I can’t say the results have led to many high quality bands.  When I received an invite to check out the band Twain, I was a bit reluctant about attending, but after listening to some of their stuff I was ready to go.

    On this night, they were playing the opening set, but it was obvious that the early crowd was gathered to see Twain, and by the end of the night it was clear they were worthy of the top billing for this show.

    With 8pm fast approaching, the level of excitement was building as eager fans edged closer to the stage, and with their new album Rare Feeling dropping on October 20th, this would be the first opportunity for many to experience the new stuff live.  As they got into their first song, the thing that initially caught my attention was the depth and warmth of their sound, and as their set progressed I heard glimpses of everything from Neil Young, The Doors and even The Grateful Dead.

    This is the kind of music that grows on you, and as you continue to listen to Mt. Davidson (lead singer/songwriter) and the band perform, you’re soon captivated both musically and lyrically. Though many of the songs deal with serious subject matter, there’s an undeniable sense of enthusiasm in Davidson’s wide ranging voice.  There’s a handful of bands out there today that can make you feel sort of sad and inspired at the same time.  If you have the chance to see them live, they have some upcoming dates in Brooklyn, NY  (Oct. 24th, Union Pool), Asheville, NC (Nov. 7th, Grey Eagle) and Washington D.C. (Nov. 9th, Pearl Street Warehouse).

    -Frank Jackson